Ah, local SEO. Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do were claim your Google My Business Page and call it a day?
Yes, it is critically important that you claim your page, get it verified by Google and optimize content – including imputing the correct geographic information about your business and verifying NAP (name, address, place).
But once you’ve secured, verified and optimized your Google My Business Page, what’s next?
While there’s no guaranteed shortcut to page rank success, focusing your efforts on proven strategies is a smart, cost-effective way to boost your rank in the local snack pack. That’s something that Art Petrosyan, the CEO of EZ Moving SLC, knows all about.
“My business EZ Moving SLC is a Salt Lake City moving company that specializes in local Utah moves,” says Art. “Since we focus only on Utah moving, we knew we needed a smart local SEO strategy that would help us rank highly amongst Utah movers and connect with customers who were searching locally. Back when we started focusing our efforts on local SEO, a lot of the competition was still stuffing their home pages with keywords to rank highly. We knew there had to be a better way."
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Art and his team faced a dilemma: not only were they not ranking highly on Google’s local search results, but they also didn’t have a ton of financial resources to throw at the problem.
“We didn’t want to drop half our marketing budget on an expensive SEO firm,” says Art. "But we didn't know how to improve local SEO."
Luckily for Art and EZ Moving SLC, through a little trial and error (and some smart strategic moves), the business knocked its local SEO out of the water. Today EZ Moving SLC ranks highly for Utah movers, no shady tricks or expensive SEO firms required.
Put these three local SEO strategies to work for your business.
Get Verified in the Top Business Directories
Don’t assume Google is sufficient; you should aim to be verified/claim your listing in at least 20 of the top business directories. Cover all your bases by starting with Yelp, ReferLocal.com, Yahoo, SuperPages, YP.com, and Bing. Yelp is an especially important page to claim. Doing so will give you (slightly) more control over the rating process since you’ll be able to respond to customer comments constructively. Just a one-star increase in an overall Yelp rating can translate into a five to nine percent increase in revenues, according to a Harvard Business School study by Michael Luca.
Earn Quality Links From High Authority Local Sites
Yes, even in 2015 there are still some websites out there playing the spammy link game – filling their footers with a link to every local town in order to boost their local ranking – but these sites will eventually get sandboxed by Google. Skip the spam temptation and go straight to the source: gaining high authority links from local media websites. Newspapers, TV news stations and even popular local radio stations will all convey local page rank authority back to your website.
Be Proactive in Your Link Building Strategies
Ask for local organizations, your community’s Chamber of Commerce or local suppliers and vendors to link back to your site. Offer to contribute embedded content – visual content works great here! – As well as written articles where you can earn a byline and business link. Ask local business partners to include your name on a list of preferred vendors. As long as your business and the referring site have a certain degree of natural synergy.
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Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results while also keeping users (to a certain extent) locked within their own interface, as Moz recently reported. What does this mean for your business? Even if you utilize all the local SEO strategies listed above, Google’s algorithm is still a fickle creature. They’ll be weeks when you rank higher and lower. As long as you’re consistently showing up in the top results, however, that’s a solid place from which to improve upon.